Saturday, March 22, 2014

Updating the Blackburne Defense (Part 2)

Here we continue from our previous post, "Updating the Blackburne Defense (Part 1)", a look at the Blackburne Defense and what is new (or newer). 

For earlier efforts, see also "Update: Old Dog Can Still Bite","Junk Openings", "A Closer Look (Part V)", "Update: Blackburne Defense" and "Traps and Zaps".

perrypawnpusher - lfcanales

blitz, FICS, 2014

9...Nf6 10.Qd8 Qxe4 

Black's move allows White's Queen to escape and counter-attack. There are a number of alternative moves for Black, two of which bear attention.

Not 10...a6?, as in piratebopper - MiloBot, FICS, 2010, (1-0, 24).

Nor 10...a5? as in perrypawnpusher - MiloBot, blitz, FICS, 2010, (1-0, 24).

Played, if in a stumbling manner, is 10...Bd7?. The core game continued 11.Qxc7 (instead, 11.Qxa8? Nxe4? [Black should finish Blackburne-style: 11...Ng4 12.h3 Bxf2+ 13.Kh1 Qg3 14.Rxf2+ Nxf2+ 15.Kg1 Nxh3+ 16.Kh1 Nf4 17.Qf8+ Kxf8 18.d3 Qxg2#] 12.d4 Bxd4 13.Be3 Bxb2 14.Qxb7 Bxa1 15.Qxc7 Nf6 16.Qxd6 Kg7 17.Qc5 Ne4 18.Bd4+ Bxd4 19.Qxd4+ Kh6 20.f3 Black resigned, UNPREDICTABLE - choron, FICS, 2009) 11...Bb6? (instead, 11...Rc8 12.Qxb7 Ke7 is "gloriously obscure" according to Dr. Andrew Walker, University of Nottingham, personal communication, 2001. Probably 13.Qb3 with the idea of Qg3 is White's answer - not 13.Nc3? Ng4 when Black mates)  12.g3?! (12.Qxd6) 12...Qh3 13.Qxd6? Bc6 14.g4 Qxg4+ White resigned, Harris,S - Quayle,E, Los Angeles, CA, 1944.

Certainly solid, and Rybka's recommendation, is 10...Bb6. White should spring his Queen with 11.e5 dxe5 12.Qd3. The earliest reference that I have seen to this line is from The Art of the Checkmate by Renaud and Kahn (1953), which says White has the advantage. This proved true in Wall,B - Foo,N, Palm Bay, FL, 2010 (1-0, 33).

The most exciting move in the position is Chandler's 10...Bh3!?, when White has to temporarily forego the Rook at a8 and focus on checking Black: 11.Qxc7+ (11.g3? Qxe4 12.Qxc7+ Kf8 White resigned, Siggus -toe, FICS, 2007; 11.Qxa8? Qg4 12.Qe8+ Nxe8 13.g3 Qf3 14.Re1 Qg2#) 11...Kf8! (11...Kg8 lost in Chandler,G - Dimitrov, T/5 minute special game 2004; in Hiarcs 8 - RevvedUp, blitz 2 12, 2006 [1-0, 17]; and AsceticKingK9 - blackburne, ChessWorld JG6, 2011 [1-0, 22] ) and analysis by Geoff Chandler and, later, Dennis Monokroussos (see the two posts on his blog) show that the outcome is a draw, as it is too dangerous for either player to look for more.


This is an improvement over 11.Nc3 Qe7 (11...Qxc2 12.Qxc7+ Nd7 13.Nd5 Qe4 14.Nc3 Qe5 15.d3 Qd4 16.Re1 Qxf2+ White resigned, ionman - GriffyJr, FICS, 2005 (0-1,16); Interested readers should check out "Ionman vs The Bots" ) 12.Qxe7+ Kxe7 as in RevvedUp - Shredder 8, blitz 2 12, 2006 (0-1, 25).


radicalmove played over a dozen games against LuigiBot on FICS in 2012, testing the somewhat weaker 11...Bd7 (see "Poor, Poor Computer" for a couple of examples). The games are in The Database.

Likewise, ionman took on the computer GriffyJr a couple of times at FICS in 2005, over the somewhat weaker 11...Qe7 (the games are also in The Database). White triumphed in Shredder 8 - RevvedUp, blitz 2 12, 2006 (1-0, 28).


Maybe a little better was 12.Qd8+ Kf7 13.d3 Qe5 14.Bh6 Qe8 15.Qxe8+ Nxe8.


The pawn is poison.


After the game Houdini preferred 13.d4!? Bb6 (13...Bxd4 14.Bh6 Bd7 15.Qc4+ d5 16.Qxd4) 14.Qe7 when White steals the Knight in broad daylight.

13...Kg7 14.Qe7+ Kh6 15.Qxf6 Black resigned

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